ITV commercial boss Fru Hazlitt outlines radical new sales strategy

ITV CEO Adam Crozier and gal at the sharp end, managing director of commercial and online Fru Hazlitt, have revealed some more of their plan to move the UK’s biggest commercial broadcaster away from horrible old advertising sales.

This includes the formation of a new ‘multidisciplinary’ sales team (the main unit presumably) plus a ‘client activation’ team and one for ‘strategic engagement.’

ITV veteran Gary Knight, who has run the station’s sponsorship and idents efforts for years, will head the client activation team, which might well be a new name for what he’s been doing all along.

He will report to Simon Daglish, the radio executive most recently at MySpace, who is number two to Hazlitt.

The company is also appointing two sales directors to report to ITV director of sales Kelly Williams (I know, I know), one of whom has been named as Mark Trinder. Williams has yet to be released from his gardening leave at Channel 5.

Ben Allen has been appointed as trading director, which may be the most important new job (it certainly will be if Williams doesn’t make it in time for the end of the year negotiations for 2012).

ITV always used to be manage with a sales director (Gary Digby), trading director and Gary Knight running sponsorship but there you go.

Hazlitt says: “Our transformation requires us to change how we service both our clients and agencies.

“We are rebalancing our teams to deliver multiplatform ideas and opportunities as well as trading air time, which clearly remains a valuable part of our business for the foreseeable future.”

Only for the foreseeable future?

This is shaping up as a hell of a transformation.

Unless the new deal is that you have to buy a bit of online to get your airtime. But they’d never try that old ruse would they?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.